What's The Buzz?

Ad blocking software entered its second week as the topic of choice on I-Advertising.

Mark Rousseau disagreed with Steve Loney’s earlier comment that ad dollars aren’t driving the development of better content but only distracting surfers whom the better content attracted. “IMHO, better content is gained through revenue,” Mark wrote. “If portals weren’t supported by advertising how would we find what we are looking for on the Internet?”

Steve Loney replied that he’s amazed at the “tunnel vision” of posts, implying that banner ads themselves are the most important products sold on the Net. “Internet ads will become interesting and creative after most users acquire better technology,” he wrote. “Right now they are little more than junk mail.”

Echoing Steve, Walter Daniels bemoaned at some length the dearth of memorable ads. “When ads are to be endured, not used to inform/call to present/future action, why bother with them?”

Donald Hodun asked, “why not figure out the underlying reason why people want to block ads?” His take is that neat ads eat up too much bandwidth.

W. Stephen Kamman would agree. The ad blocking thread prompted him to try it (ad blocking software) and buy it. Blame it on his dial-up connection. “My surfing is (much) faster It’s not a philosophical issue of people not wanting to see your ads, it’s that they don’t want to wait for them.”

Answering an earlier question about the number of users who’ve installed ad blocking software, Erwin Jansen reported on a recent study his firm conducted in Belgium. Nearly 20 percent of respondents have done something at least once to avoid online advertising.

Mark Brownlow applauded Eric and Donald’s posts. He figured that if Eric’s numbers are valid everywhere, “we can relax a little.” Referencing Donald’s comment on bandwidth, Mark wrote: “It’s not necessarily the advertising that’s the issue, it’s the overuse of graphics and large file sizes.” Mark concluded that ads on his site shouldn’t detract from a visitor’s experience; that pages should download quickly, and that he should consider developing text-based ad opportunities.

Cost-Per-Action Campaigns

Shea L. Park wants to place Cost Per Action (CPA) campaigns ($15 if a visitor completes a form) and asks what sites will accept such a deal. The question prompted Jeremy Swinfen Green to contend that the majority of rate card CPMs (cost per thousand) are grossly overpriced. Responding obliquely to Jeremy and indirectly to Shea, Leo Sheiner wrote that the pay per action campaigns running on his site pay better on average than CPM or click-b through campaigns.

Moderator’s Note

I-Advertising Moderator, Adam Boettiger, said he’s compiling some resource lists for new members and wants to know what resources seasoned (didn’t want to call them old) members use regularly.

Online Ads

Online ads members are finished with Alta Vista, at least for now, and nothing emerged this week to take its place. Among the topics that intrigued members were banner positioning, how to grab the attention of media buyers and organic marketing.

Here’s The Real Article

Responding to more than one request, Linda Caroll said the article she referenced two weeks ago (about some Warner Brothers ads that are generating six-figure results), “Th-Th-Th-That’s Cash, Folks,” appeared in the March Issue of Business 2.0.

Banner Positioning

Jason Marrone wrote that his newspaper has added a bottom banner position and is trying to determine if there’s a top or bottom advantage. (Two weeks ago, Linda Caroll contended that banners in the lower right-hand corner of a page enjoy 228 percent better click-through, if that helps.)

Scaring Media Buyers

Warren Hellman Lee’s firm represents “a couple of networks” priced between $5 and $10 per CPM. They do CPC (cost per click) and the occasional CPA deal, inventory permitting, and they’re competing favorably against sites like the one he visited with a rate card starting at $45. “Even if they do not stick to their rate card, the price is so high that it scares the buyers off,” Warren wrote. “The issue of audience may be valid, but only to a point, and I don’t think that that point is 4 to 8 times more valuable.”


The thread that Jeremy Swinfen Green kicked off a couple of weeks ago about the efficacy of the web for generating word-of-mouth awareness continues to focus on whether or not to open an .exe file from an non trusted source. Kim Brooks votes for email word-of-mouth schemes (organic marketing is her term of choice), since email is harmless. She outlined a program her firm ran that she said was cheaper than ($1) click-through, more focused than targeted advertising, email-based and completely push. She’s written an article on organic marketing that’s available on ClickZ.

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